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Fragments – Photography and Literature

Heavy the sea.png

Fragments – Photography and Literature

Christopher Stewart and Esther Teichmann

This seminar examines the relationship between text and image, exploring the tensions and dynamics between the photographic image and literature, focusing on the slippage between autobiography and fiction. The collecting of fragments forms a part of many visual art practices, the potential of which creates powerful poetic associations, where fixity gives way to fluidity and where syntax can embrace both the lyrical as well as the dissonant.


This class will span a range of topics and events centered around the relationship photography has to ideas of narrative, considering montage, collage, editing, layering and fragmentation as a means to create new stories and bodies of visual work. Participants will each produce a ‘publication’, bringing together the textual and the visual through an exploration of the photographic and literary fragment. Sessions will include artist talks, seminars, studio writing, photography workshops and critique sessions looking at students’ process and research and developing these through discussion.

Christopher Stewart.png

Christopher Stewart, The Colony


Esther Teichmann, Heavy the Sea, 2016

Selected texts:


Photography and writing:

Berger, John and Moir, Jean, Another Way of Telling, Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative Society Ltd., London 1982

Davey, Moyra, Index Cards, Fitcarraldo Editions, London 2020

Sebald, W.G., The Rings of Saturn, Harvile Press, London 1998

Robertson, Robin, The Long Take, Picador, London 2018


Literature of the fragment:

Ballard, J.G., The Atrocity Exhibition, Fourth Estate, London 2014

Barthes, Roland, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments, Vintage, London, 2002

Cooper, Jeremy, Ash Before Oak, Fitzcarraldo Editions, London 2019

Mallo, Agustin Fernandez (trans. Bunstead, Thomas), Nocilla Dream, Fitcarraldo Editions, London 2017

Rankine, Claudia, Citizen, Penguin, London 2015

Vonnegut, Kurt, Cat’s Cradle, Penguin Modern Classics, London 2008


Autobiography and fiction/non-fiction:

Eribon, Didier (trans. Lucey, Michael), Returning to Reims, Penguin, London 2019

Ernaux, Annie, The Years, Fitzcarraldo Editions, London 2020

Fournier, Lauren, Autotheory as Feminist Practice in Art, Writing, and Criticism, MIT, 2021

Genet, Jean, The Thief’s Journal, Faber and Faber, London 2019

Louis, Édouard (trans. Lucey, Michael), The End of Eddy, Vintage, London 2018


Key photographic works:

Fish Story by Alan Sekula (originally published in 1995), Mack, 2018

Goftare Nik by Shirana Shabazi, Hatje Cantz, 2003

if one thing matters, everything matters by Wolfgang Tillmans, Tate Publishing, 2003

A Life Full of Holes by Yto Barrada, Autograph, 1999

Illuminance by Rinko Kawauchi, Aperture, 2011

The Sweet Flypaper of Life by Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes (originally published in 1955), First Print Press, 2018

American Photographs by Walker Evans (originally published in 1938), Museum of Modern Art, 2012

Evidence by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel (originally published in 1977), Distributed Art Publishers, 2017

Waffenruhe by Michael Schmidt (originally published in 1987), Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig, 2018

Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson, Mack, 2011

Robert Frank the Americans (originally published in 1958), Steidl, 2008

My Birth by Carmen Winant, Self Publish Be Happy, 2018

Atlas by Gerhard Richter – Friedel, Helmut (ed.) (2007), Thames and Hudson Ltd., 2007

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